poem expresses the experience of grief best?
On my first Sonne is a very direct way of expressing the grief that
occurs when a child in the family dies. It is about the feelings that
Ben Jonson goes through, and the poem describes his emotions and
thoughts in detail. On the other hand, Mid-Term Break uses indirect
ways to portray grief, by describing events that happen after the
"Farewell, thou child". On my first Sonne openly addresses the
deceased boy in the poem. The poem is to him, and about him. Ben
Jonson uses faith to help him through the bereavement. Biblical
phrases ("child of my right hand", "my sinne was" and "all his vowes")
are scattered through the text. Jonson's thoughts are deeply Christian
("tho'wert lent to me" and "the state he should envie").
"O, could I loose all father, now." Here he candidly expresses his
feelings by crying out to God. He speaks bluntly about the grief he is
experiencing, and tries to reason with it as well by using
Christianity concepts, "For why / Will man lament the state he should
envie?". He curses himself for putting too much love and faith into
the boy, almost believing in him too much ("my sinne was too much hope
of thee, lov'd boy").
I think that On my first Sonne is a poem towards God and the deceased,
but it is written for the comfort of Ben Jonson himself, to reassure
him about his son's death. The poem is very emotional, and very
On my first Sonne uses a regular rhythm, with occasionally rhymes.
This creates a profound effect, and this in emphasised in certain
places, for example "and I thee pay / Exacted by fate, on the just
day." The regularity of the rhy...
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think about his brother's death, and then approaches his brother
alone. The phrase "wearing a poppy bruise" has overtones of death
(poppies are associated with Remembrance day), but also the fact that
he is "wearing" a bruise rather than having a bruise indicates that he
is not normally in that state, and the poet does not see him as such.
The rhythm works best in this poem in the final line, "a four foot
box, a foot for every year". The slow pace stresses the tragedy of the
event, and gives an insight into the mind of the poet, after he has
had a chance to think about it.
In conclusion, I believe that the poem Mid-Term Break the experience
of grief better than On my first Sonne, because I prefer an indirect
approach to the emotions surrounding bereavement. The style of writing
and context make it more modern, and makes it seem more relevant.
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